Infineon, IDEX Biometrics Work to Advance Biometric Cards

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Infineon and IDEX work on a path to a secure biometric ecosystem with highest performance

Biometric technology is increasingly utilized in smart card applications such as payment, identification, and access solutions. Working together to advance the biometric card landscape, Infineon and IDEX Biometrics have teamed up to seamlessly integrate IDEX’ biometrics technology into platforms featuring Infineon’s secure elements. The companies also plan to develop a system-on-card demonstrator that runs on the latest dual-interface 16-bit security controller from Infineon.

Commenting on the advantages of Biometric cards, Infineon said: “Biometric cards are expected to further reduce card fraud by introducing a simple second-factor authentication. This can be used for payment transactions and applications combining payment with social services. In addition, the fingerprint authentication compresses the overall transaction times compared to a PIN authentication. This simple tap and go significantly improves the payment experience of a user.”

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The technical challenge of contactless biometric smart cards is their sensitive power consumption profile. In the announcement, Infineon reckoned that it’s secure elements have a big advantage to enable biometrics due to an optimized power profile in non-battery supported contactless systems as well as their outstanding contactless transaction performance.

“They support contactless payment transactions at significantly below 300ms, this enables a biometric payment transaction to be performed in less than one second”, the company further said.

“We firmly believe that leveraging the expertise of Infineon and IDEX will allow us to define a sustainable path for a secure biometric ecosystem with highest performance,” said Bjoern Scharfen, Head of the Payment & Wearables at Infineon. “Biometrics are the next innovation step for contactless payment cards, providing additional security and convenience to banks and consumers,” he added.

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Biometric data is securely stored on the security controller embedded in the card. It is not uploaded into the cloud and so it quite literally stays in the hands of the user.

Biometric technology is already widely accepted in mobile telephony and will increasingly spread to smart card applications such as payment, identification and access solutions: According to market research firm ABI, the number of payment cards with biometric functionality is expected to grow from 4.5 million units in 2019 to 120 million by 2023.

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